Meet 10 Athletes Who Recently Came Out

Shawn Laib READ TIME: 4 MIN.

Attitudes towards LGBTQ+ athletes have changed a lot in recent years. From celebrations from organized teams during Pride, to individuals donating money to charities like The Trevor Project, the rainbow has become much more vibrant than it once was in both college and professional sports.

This is largely due to the recent courageous coming out stories of athletes from a variety of sports all over the world. Each person who shares their story with fans and teammates is able to shed some light on the experiences of being queer and playing sports. These are 10 athletes who have recently come out and in the process changed the world forever with their bravery. Hopefully their stories will continue to inspire and break down barriers.

Anderson Comas

Anderson Comas isn't a major league player yet, but he's been a relevant prospect for the Chicago White Sox organization for several years now. Comas has a .261 batting average in minor league baseball. He came out in an Instagram post on February 19 in which he asked for homophobic and non-accepting fans of the team to understand how gay players are no different from straight players. He told his audience that he hopes he can continue to be an inspiration for others. His Dominican ancestry should hopefully help the BIPOC community to become more comfortable being queer and playing sports.

Byron Perkins

Byron Perkins inspired so many of us when he came out as gay in October of 2022. He is a college football player for Hamptons University and in the process of coming out became the first openly gay player from an HBCU. Perkins was in a tearful talk show appearance with Tamron Hall in which his mother sat down with him to show her support. He is active on social media such as Instagram, something that is very important so other young athletes can see out athletes visibly living their lives just as their straight counterparts would.

Isaac Humphries

Isaac Humphries has been something of a journeyman so far in his basketball career. He played college basketball for the Kentucky Wildcats from 2015-2017. He then went undrafted in the NBA Draft before signing with the Atlanta Hawks and the Orlando Magic. He now plays for Melbourne United of the National Basketball League in Australia. His poignant video of him coming out in front of his teammates went viral on Twitter and YouTube in November 2022 and it helped to demonstrate how acceptance from teammates will go a long way towards helping other LGBTQ+ athletes.

Daria Kasatkina

The Women's Tennis Association is one of the most inclusive professional sports organizations ever assembled. Many brave women who have played tennis through the decades have lived their lives openly as queer, with icons ranging from Billie Jean King to Martina Navratilova. One of the most recent openly lesbian players on tour, Daria Kasatkina has been a powerful voice for the Russian people. As a country that is not accepting of LGBTQ+ rights, Kasatkina serves an important role in opening up avenues for others from her country. She is the highest-ranked Russian women's tennis player in the world right now and she is dating figure skater Natalia Zabiiako.

Jakub Jankto

Jakub Jankto is one of the most recent entries to this list of queer athletes. A soccer player for the Czech team Sparta Prague, Jankto came out as gay this February. He is the first senior international player to come out while active on a roster. Jankto used to be married to a woman, demonstrating that it's never too late in life to realize your sexuality and that you shouldn't feel trapped in a traditional relationship just to put on a show for others.

Carl Nassib

Carl Nassib came out almost two years ago, but we feel he's still very worthy of being on this list. His coming out was a revelation in the National Football League, as football is often a breeding ground for gender stereotyping, homophobia, and toxic masculinity. Nassib has contributed to organizations like The Trevor Project to help queer youth in their fight for acceptance. Nassib is currently playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and is dating Olympic swimmer Soren Dahl.

Ellia Green

A member of the 2016 rugby sevens team from Australia that won the gold medal, Ellia Green came out as transgender in August of 2022. This news is profoundly important for the transgender community in the fight against transphobia in sports all around the world. With many state governments making it difficult for trans athletes to compete at the highest levels, Green is now an icon of the movement that will help inspire and save lives all at once.

Jake Daniels

Jake Daniels is the first British soccer player to come out as gay since Justin Fashanu in the 1990s. Daniels was just 17 years old when he told the world all about his sexuality in May 2022. Playing the world's most popular sport allows Daniels to show others how to live their authentic selves all around the world. Being a teenager and coming out in the public eye takes a special kind of courage, and it also shows how much progress we've made that someone can feel comfortable doing so.

T.J. House

T.J. House had a short MLB career as a pitcher with the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) and the Toronto Blue Jays from 2014 to 2017. He came out as gay in December 2022 in an engagement announcement. House is another example of the ways baseball has become more inclusive with other players like Solomon Bates and Anderson Comas making this list. House no longer being an active player means he may not have felt comfortable coming out while he was still on the diamond.

Solomon Bates

Solomon Bates is a baseball player for the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Professional Baseball. He came out on Instagram in August of 2022. He had previously spent time playing for the San Francisco Giants minor league affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels. We hope that he can continue to make his dreams come true and make it back into minor league baseball at some point down the line.

by Shawn Laib

Read These Next